07/11/06 Spay and Neuter, Then Home - But Don't Kill

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Animal Friends responds to the cruel way of solving the probelm of abandoned dogs in gypsy villages

On July 10, 2006 we were contacted by Vid Orsus from a gypsy village Trnovec near Cakovec to inform us that this village is frequently visited by veterinarians and two MUP's representatives from Cakovec and are taking dogs away. Veterinarians visited the village twice last week and every time they took six or seven dogs that were not vaccinated against rabies. The owners were given a paper to sign which said that they are giving their dogs away voluntarily. When the veterinarians were asked what they would do with the dogs and what will happen to them, they replied that they are simply doing their job, avoiding a real answer. The gypsies from whom these dogs were taken, claim that dogs were promptly euthanized in the veterinary station Cakovec. Unfortunately, this happens every year in gypsy villages, and Medimurska county does not try to solve this problem yet in any more civilized and human way.

Veterinarians can close animals in quarantine, if they suspect rabies, but their euthanizing shortly after they were caught is not allowed (in accordance with the Veterinary Law and the Rule Book About Measures to Prevent and Eliminate Animal Rabies). If it is suspected that an animal is infected, it has to be put in a ten-day quarantine and a clinical exam must be performed. Only after ten days of quarantine and if rabies are detected can an animal be euthanized. If not, animals should be offered back to it's owner who then must pay the expenses for the quarantine and vaccination, in case the owner doesn't want the animal back, only then it can be adopted out or, after a certain legal period, euthanized.

It is unacceptable that the authorities responsible for abandoned animals exploit the gypsy's unawareness of laws by immediately euthanizing innocenet dogs, merely victims of their misfortune. We demand that the veterinarians that have taken away the dogs inform the public about what they did with each dog, whether it was legal and where those dogs that should still be in quarantine are now. It is a shame that Medimurska county is taking dogs away from Gypsies who take care of animals which were abandoned by their irresponsible owners, and is killing them, instead of giving the Gypsies the opportunity to vaccinate the animals free of charge.

Medimurska county and Cakovec city are obligated by the Veterinary Law (Article 17.8.) to solve the problem of strays and abandoned animals by financing a spay and neuter program, building shelters for them and finding them homes. Also, they should punish irresponsible owners that abandon their dogs on the streets, and not immediately euthanize unwanted animals.

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